Bishop of Leeds welcomes Government announcement on ‘breathing space’ for people with problem debt

On 19th June 2019 a Government statement on new plans to help people dealing with problem debt  was repeated in the House of Lords. The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, welcomed the statement and asked a follow-up question:

Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, I welcome this Statement, and thank the Minister for repeating it. I also want to note the work that the Church of England and the Children’s Society have done promoting these matters. I am particularly pleased that public and utilities debt is to be included in this, but—taking advice from Donald Tusk, who said “Don’t waste the extension”—can the Minister say who will ensure that plans are put in place for sustainable debt resolution? It was said that debtors will have to seek professional advice. How will that be ensured, so that we do not simply prolong the problem of debt where it will be exacerbated? Secondly—and I am sorry if I missed this in the Statement—when might we expect the new regulations to be published?

Lord Young of Cookham: On the latter point, the first regulations will be laid towards the end of this year. I will write to the right reverend Prelate about the timetable for the sustainable development plans. Can I pay tribute to the work that the Church has done in this area? There is the Just Finance Foundation, founded by the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lifesavers financial education programme, very active in primary schools, and Christians Against Poverty, a registered debt advice agency. I pay tribute to the work that they do.


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